Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2517: Rental in Rome, De'Ricci Apartment
2bed/1bath apartment near Piaza Farnese, Rome
November 2006, 2 Weeks
Close to Piazza Farnese on a very quiet street (for Rome), Via Monserrato. It’s very convenient to just about all of central Rome.
Everything is close. There are two bars (at least), a nice supermercato, a couple of restaurants, and some interesting shops, mainly art galleries and antique shops, within a block, and almost anything you can think of within a five-minute walk.
The apartment is on the first floor of an old palazzo in a very quiet piazza. It has a private entrance from the street. There are 12 somewhat steep steps up to the living room. It’s the only rental apartment in the building, owned by the proprietors of the Pierluigi restaurant immediately below on the ground floor. The rest of the first floor is used by the restaurant for offices. There is a connecting door from the apartment to the office, which locked only from their side; this never presented a problem though it could make some people nervous.
The building is narrow, so the apartment occupied the entire width. It overlooks the piazza (Piazza de’Ricci) on one side and a private courtyard on the other. There are several windows on both sides. Noise wasn’t a problem most of the time, though there could be noise at meal times from the restaurant (with outside tables in the piazza) if you kept the windows open. This was November so that wasn’t a problem for us. There are air conditioners in the living/dining room and main bedroom, so you could always close the windows and turn on the A/C in warm weather if the noise was too bad.
The apartment is one of the larger that we’ve stayed in, around 100 square meters or so. It has a large living room with an adjoining dining room. The kitchen is a separate room, which was nice. Down a hallway, there is one bathroom, a larger double bedroom, and a smaller single bedroom.
None – strictly an apartment.
The apartment was very clean. Since we rented for two weeks, a mid-term cleaning was included in the price, which was a nice touch. Furnishings were more than adequate except for the usual lack of light for reading (a real problem for us – why is this so hard?) The living room sofa was a large L-shaped sectional and was easily the most comfortable we’ve found in a rental (it undoubtedly helped that it wasn’t a sofa bed). There’s a corner cabinet in the living room which contains a TV (which we never turned on) and an assortment of liquors. There’s also a non-functional fireplace. The dining room has a nice table with room for six. The décor was nice without being over the top. There were some knick-knacks sitting around, mostly around the fireplace, but not enough to be a nuisance.
The larger bedroom has a double bed which is definitely on the firm side. It wasn’t very comfortable for us, though others may find it OK and at least it wasn’t too soft. There was also a large wardrobe with room for clothes (and lots of hangers) and a night stand with a lamp. The smaller bedroom has a single bed, and has a closet and several drawers and shelves for storage of clothes. Since there were only two of us, we used this room for clothes and to store suitcases, etc.
The bathroom was fairly large. The shower had good (if slow) hot water and water pressure, but it was a corner unit, which looked something like a Star Trek transporter and was actually fairly small inside with little room to maneuver. It did have a seat and various water settings which we never really used. There’s also a washing machine in the bathroom (no dryer – but there was a drying rack). There were plenty of spare towels and other linens, hand soap for the sink, and even laundry soap was provided.
We didn't really cook much, but easily could have done so. We really liked the fact that the kitchen was a separate room, if only so we didn’t have to look at it all the time. It wasn’t huge but it had a four burner stove, oven, double sink, dishwasher, a nice fridge/freezer, and a fair amount of counter space. It was very well equipped with pots, pans and other equipment and plenty of dishes and glassware (if a bit eclectic). There’s a toaster, mixer, and both American and Italian coffee pots. There was a large selection of basic condiments, some pasta, canned goods, etc. They also provided a nice selection of water, beer, and soft drinks to get us started. Dish soap and dishwasher detergent were also provided.
Problems or Bonuses
The restaurant (Pierluigi) was a very nice bonus. We’ll submit a separate restaurant review, but for now will say that it specialized in seafood and it was extremely good. Service was also excellent and very friendly.
The one major problem we had was with the Internet connection, which was a large reason for our selecting this apartment since Kim needed to work part of the time we were going to be in Rome. When we booked the apartment we told the agency that we needed the connection. They said there had been a problem with the connection in the apartment but that if necessary they could run a line from the office next door. When we arrived (having foolishly neglected to confirm that this had been taken care of ahead of time), there was no phone or Internet connection. We spent much of the first week trying to get this resolved and finally got it sorted out, but were without a connection for most of the first week and had numerous late evening trouble-shooting visits from the local “expert” (a waiter in the restaurant). It worked out, but did cause some extra stress.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency was Rental in Rome. Our interaction was actually fairly minimal. They responded quickly to my request for availability and were flexible when I was slow to respond. Most of my questions had been answered by their web site, so we didn’t have reason to talk much. Deposit was 20-25% at the time of making the reservation, and was paid via Paypal. The balance was due in cash on arrival. There was no separate charge for cleaning or utilities, and no security deposit was required. We had a small delay getting into the apartment because the local contact (the owner) didn’t answer his phone. We went directly to the apartment and were confused for a moment when no one answered the bell (not realizing that the entrance was for our apartment only). Someone from the restaurant quickly spotted us and came over to check us in. This might have been a problem at a time when the restaurant wasn’t open.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, it was a very nice apartment in an excellent location. The owners were very friendly and aside from the Internet issue everything was exactly as advertised or better. The apartment was spacious and well-appointed and (eventually) met all of our needs. It’s a very pleasant area of Rome to stay in because you can walk to almost all of the sights but still come home to a fairly quiet neighborhood. We would be happy to use this apartment again on future trips to Rome.
Things to do in this area
You’re in Rome, halfway between the Vatican and the Forum/Colosseum and within walking distance of almost all of the sights of the city center. It’s also close to all of the shops and restaurants in the Via Giulia and Campo di Fiori areas and not far from Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. As a bonus, it’s close to the Tiber, so it’s a very short walk across to Trastevere.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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